Sustainable packaging solutions provider DS Smith has implemented new measuring technologies across Europe, including Kemsley mill, with an aim of improving the quality of raw materials and increase transparency with suppliers.
Moisture Gate measures moisture content in paper for recycling (PfR), one of the main elements determining the performance of fibres when entering the papermaking process.
Moisture levels above those determined by industry standards inevitably lead to the deterioration of fibre content and contribute to issues with safe storage and handling, as well as processing efficiency.
Initially the technology was employed at both the Rouen paper mill in Northern France and at the Duenas paper mill in Northern Spain.
We expect to see increased manufacturing yields, encouraged by a more transparent reporting system which will provide clearer communications to customers
Due to its success at those mills, Moisture Gates have now been installed at Zărnești mill in Romania and Kemsley mill in the UK, the largest mill for recycled papers in UK and the second largest in Europe.
DS Smith says that traditionally, measuring moisture in PfR has been challenging and time consuming.
These methods often only manage to spot check individual paper bales arriving for recycling, rather than give an overall measurement.
With trucks carrying on average 25 metric tonnes of PfR arriving hourly, the challenge was how to develop an innovative and efficient system that assured more accurate and reliable results of the total volume of inbound PfR.
Under the new process, trucks arriving at a mill must pass through a ‘Moisture Gate’ which radiates the area between the antennas and scans the load using microwave technology.
In less than one minute an accurate moisture content readout is delivered, helping to measure the quality of material going into the mill.
The system allows for the uninterrupted flow of vehicles, securing premium materials for recycling and papermaking as well as increased efficiency in operations.
Nuno Messias, Paper for Recycling Purchasing Director at DS Smith Recycling Division in Iberia commented: ”The new process allows us to collect reliable and transparent data to resolve quality issues at the source.
“We expect to see increased manufacturing yields, encouraged by a more transparent reporting system which will provide clearer communications to customers.”